Sunday, 25 March 2012
Sometimes, rarely, something a little bit magical happens. Something to remind me why I do what I do and more; why the creative spirit is important to humanity.
On World Book Day I visited King’s College School in Cambridge, the pre-prep. The children there attend an extraordinary school, established by Henry VI as a choir college. It still has a choir of 16, as originally planned, to this day, but has expanded into a full primary school with a music specialism.
The day was proposed by Heffer’s Children’s Bookshop in Cambridge who provided books and was hosted by librarian Mrs King (who, I discovered, used to be on my post round in Great Chesterford when I was a postman many years ago; tis a small world).
I worked with younger children but Mrs.King wanted to me to also meet a slightly older boy called Edward. Furtively sucking a boiled sweet we chatted briefly. He has a Russian mother so we spoke about a love of Russian music. For Edward is no ordinary boy. The terms “boy genius” and "new Mozart" are crudely bandied about. But for once I believe it is justified. At just 8 years old, he has already reached level 8 piano and violin. Youtube films show you why; he is sensational!
Back home I decided to send a copy of my old out of print book, Tales from Russia (or, Koshka’s Tales). And a few days later a package arrived. It was a thank you letter from Edward – a rather unique one!
For Edward, you see, has not just thanked me. He has written me a waltz. “The Gratitude Waltz, dedicated to James Mayhew”. A copy of his handwritten manuscript came with a CD of him playing the waltz (dazzlingly well) on the piano.
It is the most extraordinary thing and I am touched beyond words. The Waltz is really very lovely and obviously I will treasure it. But more than that, it communicates to me the purpose of art, music, creativity, as an extention of human feelings and emotions. Next time I feel encumbered by deadlines or my lot in life I will think of Edward’s waltz. And I will know, then, that whatever the future holds, I’m really very lucky to have this job.
Thank you Edward!
Monday, 5 March 2012
Booking opens today for this exciting opportunity for children to hear a wonderful orchestra and hear stories and see illustrations created live on stage!
SINBAD THE SAILOR and the stories of SCHEHERAZADE
with the Orchestra of the Music Makers, conducted by Chan Tze Law
Saturday July 7th 2012 at 12 noon. Cheltenham Town Hall. Tickets only £8 for all.
Click here for all the info you need!
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